I honestly have no idea what the practical applications for this could be, but researchers at China’s Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology have developed Clothbot. What is a Clothbot you might ask? Clothbot is “a Robot for Flexible Clothes Climbing.” And it is exactly what it sounds like, an adorable little automaton that grabs the creases in your clothes and scrambles all over your body. Check out the video for yourself. I really enjoy the segment “trying to climb pants.”
Why you would need such a thing as Clothbot? I can’t tell you, but what the hell, it looks like fun. You could dress it up in a cute little skin and then you’ve created the next must have toy for Christmas. Clothbot already looks like it has big, loveable eyes, and who wouldn’t want a cute little robot buddy just hanging out, crawling all over you. You could put it on unsuspecting friends and creep them out. The applications for mischief are practically endless.
And believe it or not, Clothbot is not the first cloth-climbing robot. A team at UC Berkeley already developed CLASH. CLASH, however, is nowhere near as cuddly as Clothbot. It looks more like a giant beetle, scuttling up couches and curtains.
Proposed uses for Clothbot include basically being weird mechanical pets like already mentioned, holding phones to free up your hands (think interactive blue tooth), and, my personal favorite, “body inspection.” Imagine this, next time you go through security at the airport instead of a handsy, disgruntled TSA agent pawing at your nether regions, a tiny little robot climbs and probes you in all of your private areas. That’s way less invasive, right? I can only imagine the different manners that could go horribly wrong, and the horror stories it will spawn.